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Wife to Adam, mommy to Alexa & Adlee Grace, Christ follower, owner at NewSpring Church, lover of Clemson football, and all things monogrammed. Looking for ways to simplify, serve, and teach my girls what life is all about.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Update

This week has really flown by! Well, all except for yesterday because I had to work until nearly 6pm, and on a Friday everyone leaves early! I typically leave early (or don't work at all) on Fridays, but this week I was off on Wednesday instead. So, I worked 10 hours the other days to make up my time. I'm really stingy w/ my PTO (paid time off) for some reason, I can't stand to use it.

Last Saturday I finished up my last exam, and I ended the semester with 4 As. That was certainly a great feeling when I got my final grades on Thursday! As for next semester I will not being going to school. It just doesn't seem to be in God's plans because nothing is working out. If you remember, last semester I changed my major because there wasn't anything for my major that fit my schedule. Well, this semester is the same way...there is nothing at night or online that works at all. As a result I have decided to take the semester off and spend this time focusing on Alexa and myself. I really haven't been expecting a break, but apparently God wanted me to have one...so that's where I stand with that.

We have really been enjoying the Christmas season so far...and we are trying to keep it very simple. Christmas isn't about presents and decorations, it's about Jesus, and that's what our whole year should be about. Don't get me wrong, I like decorations, and I like gift giving...but those things shouldn't be the focus of Christmas. Wednesday was a perfect reminder of this for me.

We (Jodi, Brad, and myself) along with about 65 other volunteers from NewSpring went to an elementary school in Greenville, and the Anderson campus did 3 schools in Anderson County, and we gave almost every child a new pair of shoes and a backpack with school supplies. It was an amazing experience. I can't even begin to describe the joy it brought me. Seeing the faces of those children was such a blessing. It was also heartbreaking to think of the conditions these children face every day. We were told 90% of the school we visited live below the poverty level. Obviously all of the children didn't need new shoes, but most of them did, and they were very appreciative. Most of them couldn't stop smiling and talking about their new shoes.

These are all the shoe boxes wrapped up on the auditorium stage.

Volunteers putting shoes on the children

Allison and one of the little girls looking through her new backpack


It was such a humbling reminder of how blessed we are, and how much we take for granted. I try to be thankful, but I don't think there is any way we can be thankful enough.

Mimi was nice enough to keep A&W for us so we could participate in the giveaway, and when we were finished they met us for lunch and an afternoon of fun! We took the kids to Chuck E Cheese, and they had a blast. W has been before, but this was A's first trip and she seemed to really enjoy it! They played some games, but mostly rode on the different rides. The mommies and mimi also played a few games :) All in all it was a great afternoon, and I am looking forward to taking them back when they get a bit older!

Today we finally got our Christmas cards printed, so they will actually get out before Christmas. LOL! Tomorrow is Christmas at NewSpring, and if you aren't already going to a church service, I would highly recommend coming to ours! It is going to be AMAZING! I am so excited. Our services are at 9:15, 11:15, and 6pm...get there early!!

Well, that's all for now. I hope you all are enjoying Christmas, and I hope you have a great week. God is so good!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Aloha Friday


Thanks to Kailani over at An Island Life we are learning about Aloha Friday, and taking it easy! Lucky for me, I have the day off today...so Alexa and I are spending the day together. So, if you wanna play along, check out the rest of the participants at An Island Life and link your own question. Here is mine...

What are you doing today?
I'm spending the day with Alexa, cleaning, and taking my last 2 exams. All in all, a great day! Nothing better than some special mommy-daughter time! These are the days I love most...great memories!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's Beginning...

...to look a lot like Christmas! Honestly, not really around our house...too many other important things to do other than decorate. Hopefully we will get some work done on that this weekend. I am off tomorrow so that should help. We still haven't figured out where the tree is going because Alexa's kitchen pretty much takes up the entire area behind the couch, and that is where it has been for the past several years! I am definitely in the Christmas spirit though, and I am really looking forward to having a few days off with my sweet girl!

I am taking my 2nd of 4 exams tonight, and then I will take the other 2 tomorrow. Then I am going to an engagement party for one of the girls in my home group, and I can't wait. I don't know if I have mentioned my home group on here or not, but I am really enjoying it. We are having a great time getting to know each other while we grow deeper in our relationship with God. What more can you ask for??!! I have always wanted a group of Christian girlfriends that I could hang out with...not that I don't have Christian friends, but not just a group of girls that all hang out together. This has truly been an answered prayer for me.


Here is Alexa in the most precious Christmas tee Jodi and I designed for her. I am really pleased with the way it turned out. If you can't tell from the picture, it's an ornament with her initial in the middle, and it has vinyl over the top and little snowflakes floating around inside. Too cute! Don't you just love her expression...after she takes a picture now she will say 'oh that's a good one' or 'that's a good smile mommy'. It is the cutest thing! Love my little Diva Princess :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

WW: I love this part!

For more Wordless Wednesdays go here or here

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Check it out!

Leigh-Ann is hosting 10 giveaways over the next 10 days. Guess who is the first giveaway!! :) Head on over to her site and check them out!

Blessed Beyond Measure

I listened to a story from a dear friend last night, and it simply broke my heart! She was talking about some tough times she has faced over the past few years, and how her family wasn't there for her. It made me realize just how blessed I am to have my family.

Growing up my parents always told me they would love me and be here for me no matter what...even though there were times when they wanted to choke me, they always loved me. When I found out I was pregnant at 22 they once again proved to me that their love was unconditional. They were certainly disappointed in me, but they loved me through it all. They never judged me, or condemned me, and it made it so much easier to get through what could've been a terrible situation.

Standing over 2 years this side of that situation, all I have are good memories. I know there are people (probably even some who read this blog) who judged me, or condemned me...but that's ok, because I have judged other people for different things before too. It's easy to condemn when you aren't in their shoes! The truth is, we all sin, but some are more visible than others. God used that situation to turn my life around...and I am so thankful for that...and I am definitely thankful for the precious little girl I have because of it too!

God can use anything that happens in our lives, and He has certainly used Alexa so many times in my life. He continues to use her daily as a reminder of all the many blessings He has given me. Last night made me all more thankful for my wonderful family. God has and continues to bless me with and through them. I don't say it enough, but thank you God for my family, they truly are a blessing!

Monday, December 8, 2008

New Giveaway Site

5 Minutes for Mom has launched a new site called 5 Minutes for Giveaways where they will host lots of awesome giveaways. The first giveaway is for the new EASYSHARE W820 Wireless Digital Frame, and this thing looks awesome! This frame can connect to your network wirelessly, and play slide shows, videos, and MP3s! How cool is that?? This frame is valued at over $200, and from what I have read it is well worth it. What a great gift to give someone special in your life. Head on over here for your chance to win!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

My Little Angel

For those of you who are mothers, you know there is nothing more special than watching your child do something for the first time. Their first smile, first step, first anything...it is just special. Well, tonight was one of those nights for me. Alexa was in her first Christmas musical and she was just adorable. The two year olds on played a small part because, well they are two! She was so cute in her pillowcase angel costume her Mimi made for her, and a set of wings. She had a halo too, but she declined wearing it. I sat down front while she was on stage because she was having a bit of separation anxiety even though I was only a few pews away. She didn't seem to have any trouble once she got on stage! She was putting on a show. I am really proud of my little girl, she is growing up so fast. I know this is only the first of performances like these and it just makes me smile to think of all the wonderful times ahead!

Here are a few pictures from last night...I have a video that will give you a better look at her performance, but I haven't had a chance to upload it yet.

Look at that smile!

My little angel did a GREAT job on her debut!

I thought Mac was so cute with her hands over her ears while the older children were singing...couldn't resist the photo op! :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas Accomplishments

Did you make a Christmas to-do list this year? Have you gotten to check everything off? The answer for both of those would be a big fat NO for me! I really had good intentions, but you know what they say about that. I am finishing up school this week, and I have exams next week, so after my last classes this week I should have a few more minutes to devote to this task.

In order to hold myself accountable I'm going to post my list of goals here and then check them off as I go.

Make gift list
Take Christmas card picture
Find Christmas card address list
Have Christmas cards printed (I can see those cards are going to be WAY too involved)
Purchase gift for the child my office is sponsoring
Coordinate office Christmas breakfast
Help decorate
Buy supplies for new Etsy item

I can't even think of the other things I need to do...I'll add to my list as I go. What do you still have on your list?

Monday, December 1, 2008

What I want for Christmas

I have really been struggling with Christmas gifts this year...both what to give, and what I want. I honestly don't have a clue what anyone around me wants or needs...and I think it's mostly because none of us need anything. Lots of people I know are asking for donations to their favorite charity, and that is such a wonderful thing. Why not give to those less fortunate than ourselves when we really don't need anything right??!! Absolutely. So, if you have me on your Christmas list for this year, please make a donation in my honor to one of the following.

NewSpring Church - this is a cause I am very passionate about. I love my church, and the work that we are doing is amazing. I am so blessed to be a part of such a wonderful church where God is working in a big way!

World Vision - this is another cause I believe in. You can do amazing things with just a little bit of money because of the options they offer. You can give a smaller gift, or you can put your money in the pot for a larger gift. They are also doing great things through this organization.

Having said that...and I meant every word! I have found something I want...notice I said want, and not need! This is SO SO SO cool! I think it would be awesome to have on my desk at work. 5 Minutes for Mom is giving one away every day for 12 days thanks to Dirt Devil, and you can enter separately for each one! I will definitely be entering every day in hopes that I win one...I would suggest you head that way as well and put in your own entry form! Good luck!

Oh, and there is another new post below, check it out. Pictures later this week, I PROMISE! :)

Etsy, etsy, etsy!!!

About 2 weeks ago I made my first sale on Etsy and I was SUPER excited. The buyer is a good friend of mine, and she bought the item as a Christmas present. I truly felt honored that she wanted one of my creations to give to a family member who I know is extremely important to her. As exciting as that moment was, today was even better! I sold a journal to a COMPLETE STRANGER! How awesome is that??!! :)

I have a really cute item coming soon...hopefully by the end of this week I will have it posted. Check back for updates. I am loving Etsy more and more every day!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Black Friday...success or failure??!!

I didn't do much venturing on Black Friday...I had really planned to, but ultimately it just wasn't worth it! Lindsey and I originally planned to hit Gaffney @ midnight, however, there wasn't anything specific we wanted there, so after seeing the crowds, we thought better of it! Then she wanted to go to Target and Wal-Mart at 6 and 5 respectively, so I said I would go with her...again, in true Autumn fashion I fell asleep and when 3am rolled around I just couldn't motivate myself when I knew there wasn't anything I really needed or wanted! We did end up going back to Wal-Mart around 4 that afternoon, and the crowd was pretty much gone...it was still busy, but no busier than any other day. I got a few things, but once again, there wasn't much I really needed or wanted to buy.

How is your Christmas shopping going? I have to say, I honestly don't know what I should get almost everyone for Christmas, including Alexa. She has so many toys already, and there isn't anything she really 'wants' b/c she doesn't know to ask for things yet. I already know of one present she is getting, and it is so cute...I really can't wait!

I did however go CVSing on Thanksgiving...while I find it a bit odd to shop in Thanksgiving, I have to say the lack of a crowd was really nice! Jodi and I both got some GREAT deals! The whole concept of CVSing is new to me, but it's a great concept and a great way to save money. Most weeks they offer items that are free after ECBs (Extra Care Bucks) and we stocked up! Let me give you a run down of what I got...

1 Maybelline Mineral Makeup $8.99 Free after ECBs
1 L'Oreal Colour Juice LipStick $6.99 Free plus overage after ECBs and $1/1 coupon
1 Colgate Total $2.99 Free plus overage after ECBs and $1.50/1 coupon
2 Aussie shampoo and conditioner $2.99 (each) Free after ECBs

I also got some face wash $3.29 and blistex $2.19, neither of these were on sale, but there were necessary at the time, so this is how it all totaled up. My first transaction I got the first two listed above plus face wash and blistex...now normally if you are just starting out and trying to spend the least OOP (out of pocket) I would recommend splitting your transactions up into smaller amounts so you can flip your ECBs onto the next purchase. The reason I didn't do this was because of a $4/20 coupon I had that expired today, and I really wanted to use it. My first transaction came to $17.51, and then my second transaction included the toothpaste and the shampoo and conditioner, it came to $0.60! So, that means I spent a total of $18.11 and got a total of $31.23 in products with $17.86 left in ECBs to spend on my next purchase. So while I had a little more money OOP, I really only spent $.025 when you consider the ECBs I have left. So, while I spent a little more than desireable for OOP, for my first transaction I thought it was awesome...and since I plan to roll my ECBs on my next transaction and come out ahead again (with the use of coupons) I shouldn't have to pay anything other than a little tax from here on out.

So, how did you do on your Black Friday shopping? Did you score any awesome deals? If you did tell me about them, or head over to Money Saving Mom and post a link there for others to check out what you got. Happy shopping! :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankful

There are not words to express how thankful I am for everything God has blessed me with. I am thankful for Alexa, she is such a sweet child, and a constant reminder to me of how much God loves me. I am thankful for my family, I don't know where I would be if it weren't for them. I am thankful for a church like NewSpring where I can go and grow in my walk with Jesus, and where Alexa can learn more about Jesus and how much He loves her! I am thankful for my job...there are so many people who are jobless right now, and it's only by God's grace that I am not one of them. I am thankful for my home group, they are such awesome girls and I look forward to getting to know them better in the days to come. I am most thankful that God sent his Son Jesus to die on the cross for my sins, and that I'm forgiven. What an amazing gift that way...we are all so blessed! As we approach this Thanksgiving season, what are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Great way to Give!

I was reading here today and I couldn't help but to click on over and donate. I am such a shoe fanatic I can't imagine going a day without a cute pair of shoes, much less any shoes at all! I am so blessed to be able to give to others, and I hope in the future I will be able to give even more. So, take a few minutes and head on over to soles4souls and donate...I mean really, I know all of us have $5 we can spare to give the gift of shoes to another person. We are all so blessed, isn't it time we bless someone else?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Look Out!

Tomorrow I am posting some new items in my Etsy store. Check back tomorrow afternoon to see what's new! I have several new journals that are soooo cute, and some new jewelry as well. Looks like my creativity is starting to come back, and I am definitely excited about that!

I also have a surprise up my sleeve next week...be on the look out for that!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Home Economist

As most of you know, I am a single mom, and I am doing my best to use everything God has blessed me with to the best of my abilities. My most recent endeavor thanks to Money Saving Mom is becoming a home economist. I have recently set up a budget after starting a study by Joe Sangl. My home group at NewSpring is participating in a 6 week by Joe on getting our money in order so we can live the life we were born to live. This is where my journey began...

After looking at my budget (and realizing just how TIGHT it is) I decided it was time to take action. My first step was to start the envelope system Joe recommends. The premise behind this is one my dad has always told me works...if you don't have the cash, you don't get to buy it! I think one problem the credit card, (or even debit card for that matter) creates is making spending easier. I don't know about you, but for me it is much easier to swipe my card than it is to break a $20 bill! Anything larger than a $20 I can pretty much hold onto forever. Ok, not FOREVER, but you know what I mean. I think twice about the frappe I want at Starbucks when I know I am actually going to part with the cash. This is where the rubber meets the road!

Since I started my budget on 10-31, I have only spent $$ on gas!! Just as an aside...can I say how thankful I am that gas prices are dropping so much! Ok, back on point...the best way I have of being accountable to myself for what I spend is by writing it down. I have my budget broken down into categories, and some stay in the bank (if I pay them online) and others come out into envelopes. When I spend $$ from an envelope, I write on it the amount I spent, and the date. Now, for the gas envelope I don't write down what it was for, but other categories that are a bit broader I do. Otherwise I look back at the end of the month and think, where did my money go??!! This way I have no excuse, I can see it in black and white. For someone like me, this is very helpful.

The next step I am looking into thanks to Money Saving Mom, is coupons, and bargain shopping. Crystal is beyond amazing! She feeds a family of 4, 3 meals a day plus snacks on $40 a week. Yep, you heard me right...and she doesn't only feed them ramen noodles either. If you need some ideas for how to save money I would definitely recommend heading over to her site...I was amazed by everything I learned. I have also started clipping coupons...so if you take the paper and don't use yours, PLEASE save them for me.

My budget is definitely helping me save my money because I can physically see where it is going. I know this might seem silly to some, but although I could see my spending online, it wasn't real like cash is. Spending my money on paper before I have it definitely opened my eyes, and now I am equipped to make the most of my money. So, after budgeting, envelopes, and coupons I am looking for other ways to stretch my $$. What do you do to stretch your $$? I would love to hear some ideas from other moms trying to take on the job of home economizing!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Baby Weekend

Last night Walker came to stay with us, and as always A & W had a great time playing together. Granted it looks like a grenade went off in here today, but what is a little mess when it means so much fun for them! I tried to get them to clean up after themselves, but they are easily distracted. Alexa did clean up a few things after we got home, but most of the work is left for me. I guess that's what mommy is for...at least at this age :)

Mimi and Pop went to a football game today, and they aren't coming back until tomorrow. We didn't have anything else on the agenda for today, so when Jodi called this morning to discuss plans for W going home it made perfect sense to head to their house. After I did some laundry this morning we packed up and went for a little trip. A & W have so much fun when they are together, and it just seemed ashame to split them up so quickly. We ate a quick lunch when we got there, and then put both babies to bed.

While they were sleeping Jodi and I looked at a few things while we waited on the Clemson game to start, and then we watched that. I was sad that they lost, but since it's Bobby Bowden's birthday I was glad for him.

After the game we ate dinner, and then Jodi and I talked for a while. Baby names were a big topic today...I am so excited at the thought of having 2 new babies in the family. A & W are at such a fun age, but babies are wonderful too! Then we spent a few minutes downstairs planning the next custom t-shirts for A & W. I have to say that A's holiday shirt is going to be SOOOO cute! I can't wait for it to be ready...and for it to be time to wear a Christmas shirt! :)

We are back home now, and A was totally wiped out! I am getting ready to do a bit of straightening up before I head to bed. Can't wait for NewSpring tomorrow...it's going to be AWESOME as always! Hope you all had a great weekend and got to spend some quality time with your family.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

New Digs

I just felt it was time for a change, and since it's autumn I thought this was PERFECT!

Can I just take a minute to say that God is SO SO SO good! I know that most of you already know that, and for those of you who don't, I would HIGHLY recommend checking into it. As we embark on the holiday season that is upcoming, I challenge all of you to examine your life and remind yourself of the things that are most precious to you. As you are thinking over these things, realize that God is ultimately the giver of everything we have. I am so thankful for everything He has given me!

With as busy as our lives are, and everything else wrapped up in the holidays I think we sometimes forget what it is really all about. I don't want to be guilty of that, and most of all I don't want to set that example for Alexa. I want her to always know what is important.

As I finish up my semester, and look into the new year, there are several things I am excited about. In 2 weekends I am headed to the beach with 3 great ladies...and I am SUPER excited about it! Lindsey and I have been friends since the sandbox, and as a result our moms are also close. Since we are all super busy these days, we don't get to hang out much...Linds your location certainly isn't helping this at all! :) So, in an effort to spend some time with just the girls, we planned a girls' weekend and we are all really looking forward to it. Great friends, great times, and great shopping in one of my favorite places...Charleston!

Shortly after that it will be time for my second fave holiday, Thanksgiving! I am so thankful for my family, and this is a time when our whole family comes together to celebrate and be thankful for all that God has done for us. I have the most amazing family, and I don't know what I would do without them. I really don't know how people function without a strong family behind them.

And just around the corner after that is Christmas! Which is my favorite holiday because it's the time when we get to celebrate the birth of our Savior. What could be better than that? We have really enjoyed the last 2 Christmas' with the babies, but this one is certainly going to be the best yet. Alexa is really starting to understand everything, and this year she will know what Christmas is all about! We have already talked about cutting a tree special for her room. She really liked the idea! I think we are also going to decorate a tree in the yard with popcorn and other things for the birds. She is also going to help me pick out gifts from the World Vision gift catalogue for our family members who don't really "need" anything. Not that any of us need anything! World Vision is a great way to give gifts for those on your list that have it all, they will be blessed knowing that their Christmas gift benefitted someone else, and someone much less fortunate will receive something that will change their life. It has been a favorite way to give for our family for years!

Then the new year will be here! I can't believe this year has flown by so fast. This time last year I was planning a trip to Hawaii. I feel like I just got back, and yet it's been almost a year!

Well, time to get back to my holiday planning, they are certainly sneaking up rather quickly! Do you have yours planned? What are your favorite holiday planning tips? I would love to hear them. I would also love to hear your favorite family traditions. We have already established a few since Alexa was born, but I am always looking for fun new things to try! Can't wait to hear what you have to say!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

So long?

I can't believe it's been over a month since I posted last! I just don't have the time to keep up with the blog...and apparently there are also computer problems making it difficult. My camera doesn't want to upload my pictures to the computer. I'm going to try another option...but if that doesn't work I'll have to try again another day.

Well, no dice on the pictures for today...and I really don't have the energy to fight with this computer. It needs to have some work done on it, so hopefully when that happens it will work again!

In other news, let me catch you up on what's been going on with us.

We have all been pretty busy around here...Alexa has been taking dance for almost 2 months now and she absolutely LOVES it! I can't wait to go watch her when they have observation day next month. I am still in school, although not really sure where it is going at this point. I had a really hard time finding classes to take this semester that worked with my degree. So hard in fact, that I ended up changing my major. Well, this semester I'm having just as much trouble. I may end up tranferring again...something that I really DON'T want to do, but I also want to hurry up and finish this degree!

I have been focusing more of my time on Alexa, instead of telling the blog world about it. I love spending time with her, and so instead of talking about it, I've been doing it! That's one of the challenges of a single mom who works full time and goes to school full time. Both are certainly due to choices I have made, and I'm not trying to make anyone feel sorry for me, but it does make my time with her all more precious! So, while I apologize for my lack of blogging lately, I think the tradeoff is DEFINITELY worth it.

I am also becoming more involved with NewSpring. I have been volunteering doing check-in for the children's area since the Greenville campus opened in July...but now I have taken on a new role. The current series for the elementary school kids is a "spy" series where an actor (that's me) interacts with videos and the children. Certainly wasn't something I imagined on my own...but I have really enjoyed having more interaction with the kids!

I have also joined a home group for single girls, and so far I am really enjoying it! I have been to 2 different home groups, but this one is definitely the one for me. I can see some great friendships developing there! Right now we are studying financial freedom, and how to manage our money. You can imagine for a bunch of single girls this is certainly a challenge!

Well, it's time to put Alexa to bed...she is currently riding her tricycle around the circle of the den, living room, dining room, and kitchen. It's really pretty funny! She had Jerry guiding her for the first few rounds, and then she decided she could do it on her own! She is growing up so fast.

Have a good night everyone! Ok, here's one pic :)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Let me Clarify! :)

In my post yesterday I made mention of 2 new babies. All or most of you know that Jodi is pregnant with their second child, and she is due in January. I believe she was supposed to announce the sex on her blog, but unless I missed it she hasn't done it yet. I know the sex of HER baby, but I don't feel it's my place to announce HER business :) so you'll have to wait on HER to do that! HINT HINT PEOPLE!!

I'm not sure if the anonymous commenter was trying to find the PC way to ask if I'm pregnant again...and the answer would be a big fat resounding NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Since we know Jodi isn't expecting twins, that only leaves one other option. I don't know if I will get in trouble for posting this here or not, but I'll chance it. Josh and Brenda are expecting their first baby, she (Brenda) is due in May. They won't know the sex of their baby for a few more weeks, but we are all excited either way!

Ok, now that we are all on the same page!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Where did it go??

I am speaking of time...I can't believe today is October 1st! I swear we were just starting summer yesterday, and now it's fall. There really isn't a time of year I don't like...but I have to say, I LOVE fall! The thought of boots and sweaters excites me...not to mention all the other things fall entails. This weekend we are headed to the pumpkin patch...

Look at these 2 sweet punkins from last year...they have grown so much. It is going to be so much fun to see them out there again, and to see how they are different from last year. Walker was totally disinterested in the pumpkins...and although Alexa ended up with a small one, she kept trying to pick up the big ones. This is one of the great traditions we started last year when they could actually enjoy it, and I hope it continues for many years to come...just think, this time next year we will have 2 new babies to take with us!! :)

In other weekend news we are having a Baptism Tailgating Extravaganza at NewSpring. This is the second annual, and this year we are having it at both campuses. Last year they baptized around 500 people I believe, and this year it should be even bigger with 2 locations. What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than celebrating people who have given their life to Jesus and are making it public. Everything kicks off at 3...and we will be tailgating, so feel free to join in!

We are looking forward to a fun-filled fall, and we know it's going to be busy! Next weekend FBCL is having their Fall Festival...and they had a great time there last year too!


Last year we had the sweetest little lady bug ever...and this year we are having a beautiful bumble bee! So much fun in store...I love every minute of it...no matter how busy we are!

I have some great birthday pics to post...but it might take me a day or two, so just be patient!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Great Deals!

Lately I have been on a bit of an earring kick...I have always loved jewelry, but for a long time it was the same thing every day. I almost always wear my diamond necklace because the diamond came from one of my grandmother's earrings, so it is special to me. As a result I don't really have a thing for necklaces, although I have a few, I just don't typically buy them. Earrings are a different story...I am always a fan of cute new earrings, and the funky ones are the best.

I have found two designers who are absolutely fabulous, and have great prices as well. The first is Sharla of Sharma Designs...you can check out her blog on my sidebar, and her Etsy shop here. I bought some of the cutest earrings from her back during the bloggy carnival, and this week I bought some more because she is having a sale. Head on over and check her out...you won't be sorry! After your first item shipping is free for anything else you buy...can't beat that!


The second designer I found is Karen from A Bowl of Beads...you can check out her Etsy here. She also has great prices, and shipping is very reasonable! Jodi and I racked up a couple of weeks ago from her shop. She has great designs, and with her prices you can afford to accessorize several outfits!


Tell me those aren't just awesome! I am so excited...can't wait to wear both of these, and the others I ordered as well!

Monday, September 22, 2008

All Grown UP!

I honestly can't believe that my sweet baby girl is 2 years old today! It just doesn't seem possible. So much has changed over the past two years, and I can honestly say most of it has changed for the better! Look at that sweet smile! That was certainly one of the most joyous days in my life to this point, and I am so thankful for every moment I have with Alexa!

This picture just makes me laugh...Both of them covered in cake! :) Their personalities were just beginning to form, and for the most part they get sweeter every day.

Then I took this picture this morning...it's from my phone so it's not the best quality, but tell me she doesn't look so grown up! She barely looks like the same child. Jodi did a great job on her t-shirt, and I can't wait to see the two of them together on Saturday! Alexa is having a great day at daycare...she took cupcakes for her party at school today. :) When I talked to her teacher at lunch she said Alexa tried to throw her plate away because she wanted her cupcake. What a silly girl! She is developing the sweetest personality, and she is really funny too. Thank you God for the last two years you have given me with Alexa, and I thank you in advance for the many years we have together in the future!

I promise I will have some other pictures to post this weekend!

So, to Alexa on your 2nd birthday, I just want you to know how much mommy loves you, and how truly blessed I am to be your mother. God has given me such a wonderful gift in you, and I couldn't be happier about it. I love you with all my heart, and I will always be here for you no matter what. I can't wait to see what this next year holds for you as you continue to grow and develop. I know you are enjoying your dance classes, and I can't wait for your recital!! Just remember that there are lots of people in this world who love you, and are here to support you. As you continue to grow and learn, remember that God loves you and He always will!

I hope you have a wonderful birthday baby, mommy loves you so much!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Too Busy!

I am just too busy! Too busy to blog, too busy to clean, too busy to exercise (ok maybe that's just lazy) too busy to scrap...too busy for everything! I hope one of these days I'll actually get on here and update, but I'm not making any promises because my life is so crazy right now.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Ready for VACA!

I can't believe we are leaving for vacation tomorrow! I have been looking forward to this for so long. I know it's going to be so much fun to have A & W on the beach again. They enjoyed it last year, but I have a feeling this year is going to be so much better!

This week was my first full week of school, and unfortunately I'm going to miss this whole week of school. I am really enjoying the classes I have (except for government) and I can see this is where I'm supposed to be.

Well, I was hoping for my post to be a little bit longer, but...doesn't look like that's going to happen. I've been sewing (my quilt is coming along nicely!!) instead of packing, so now I have to get some stuff done.

I hope you all have a fabulous Labor Day weekend, and a great week next week as well. We will be back next Saturday, and I should have some awesome pictures to post! Can't wait!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Quick Recap

This past week has been a bit of a blur. I really planned to blog and post some pictures, but I just didn't have time. Monday night my teeth started hurting, I had an appointment with the oral surgeon next Wednesday about my wisdom teeth. Tuesday was my birthday...which I can't even believe. During the day Tuesday my teeth began to really hurt, and it only got worse.

Wednesday morning I called Dr. Mills' office to see if they could get me in sooner. He didn't have anything available but his partner had an opening that afternoon. I gladly took the appointment. After seeing my xray it was obvious that my wisdom teeth really needed to come out. He didn't have an appointment for several weeks, but Dr. Mills had one of Friday, so I took it. I now look like a chipmunk! The surgery went well, and actually it cost less than they originally quoted me, so that was a huge blessing. My insurance considered it major medical b/c they were all impacted, and unfortunately I hadn't met my deductible. Thankfully God helped take care of that, in more ways than one, and it ended up costing me much less than I originally thought.

I am recovering nicely, and Alexa has been so sweet during this period. She knows something is different, but she isn't really sure what. She gives me the sweetest kisses on my "boo boo". What a sweet baby girl...she is getting ready to go to bed now. Even though she has her moments, most of them are pretty sweet!

Tuesday night we had my birthday dinner at Stone Soup, and as usual it was fantastic! I had the best chicken dish I have had in a long time...it was fried in panko bread crumbs and it was so yummy. Then we came home, and Jerry and Alexa went outside to listen to music in his car for just a minute before her bath. When Mimi went out to get them, she came back with a big surprise!

Last Saturday we went to downtown Landrum to Foothills Amish Furniture, because Mimi and I haven't been to the store since they moved to their new location. Well, it was certainly the right Saturday to go. They were having a celebration for their anniversary, and they had guy doing homemade ice cream out front for free. It was wonderful! While we were there Mimi and I saw some really nice things, one of which was a painting that I fell in love with. It's three separate paintings, in a black frame and at the bottom it has Numbers 6:25 in gold paint. It is absolutely gorgeous. I asked daddy to talk to Matt (the owner) and see if he would come down on the price since they have been such good customers.

How excited was I when I saw her carrying that package. I knew immediately it was the painting, and Alexa helped me open it. It is gorgeous, and I'm not typically one to get excited about paintings. I am so excited to have it, and I can't wait to find a great place to hang it when I have my own house.

Thursday I started back to school, and it was a pretty good night. I started with a math class, and then when I got to my education class, the professor wasn't there, but he had left about 50 handouts for us. That made for an exciting night because Grandpa and Grace came back from Florida that afternoon, and brought Pebo's Cuban food back with them. Even though my teeth were really hurting, it was still awesome. We are so glad Grandpa and Grace are back...we really missed them while they were gone!

Well, that's about it for my week...I need to go put the heating pad back on my face to see if I can get the swelling to go down some more. Hope you all are having a great weekend!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Incredible!

It seems like forever since I blogged last...but I have just been so busy I haven't had time. I am also trying to spend more time enjoying Alexa, and less time on the computer and watching tv. I never really did a lot of either, but I'm really trying to minimize it these days because she is growing up so fast, and that's something I can't ever get back!

Let me catch you up...quickly because I've gotta go to bed.

Mama and I have started working with Janice every morning at 5:15. We get up at 5, and leave here...and then walk until around 6. I have to admit, I don't enjoy getting up at 5, but I am feeling much better and healthier with the addition of exercise in my life.

I also told you before that Alexa was changing daycares and she is totally loving it. We had a few rough days the first week, but this week she has done beautifully! I am also enjoying having her next door because I can go and observe her (through tinted glass) during the day. She is also getting ready to start dance lessons, and gymnastics! I can't wait...I know she is going to love it.

I am starting back to school next week, and once again I have changed my major. LOL! I am not surprised by this at all, and those of you who know me probably aren't either. I am going into Secondary Education...I know, shocking right??!! :) I have felt for a long time that this is where I belonged, but I have made up lots of excuses as to why I just couldn't do it. I have finally submitted to God...ok, it's really that He slammed every door on me and I didn't have a choice!

Long story short, last week when I went for orientation I sat down with my advisor to set up my schedule, and I needed 4 classes...there was only 1 that worked with my schedule. That's it...and every time I thought of some way to manipulate the situation and make it work...it didn't. Until I started looking to Secondary Education! I don't want to go to school more than 3 days a week because I want to have as much time with Alexa as possible. Today I met with my new advisor, and I ended up with one internet class, and then 3 classes on Tuesday and Thursday that start at 4:30 and go until 8:40. I was so excited, because I really expected to be going at least 3 nights!! God is so good, and this is working out much better than I ever planned. Isn't it amazing how that works, and yet we still try to do it our way!

Tonight Alexa, Mama and I went out to eat with a great group! We had Anne, Janice & Julia, and Jackie, Stephanie & Perrin. I was so excited to see Stephanie and Perrin when we got there, I knew Anne was inviting Jackie, but I had no idea if Stephanie and Perrin would come or not. We all had a great time, and Alexa had a blast visiting Perrin at the other end of the table. I wish I had taken my camera so I could've taken some pictures, but I didn't. It has been too long since I last saw Perrin in person...I hope it won't be as long before we get to see him again.

Well, tomorrow is Friday, which is always a wonderful day. I baked cookies for Alexa to take tomorrow because they are having a party for the older kids who are moving up into the preschool room on Monday.

It's been an exciting couple of weeks, and I can't wait to see what is in store for the next couple of months. A & W both have birthdays coming soon...I am so excited. We definitely need to start planning the party! I've also got to start thinking about a present for Alexa!! :)

Well folks, have a great weekend. Walker is coming to stay with us for part of the weekend, and I can't wait! They have so much fun playing together. I have some really cute pics to post from last weekend, but I am already later than I wanted to be, so those will have to wait. Maybe I can get that done tomorrow!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

More Pics...

Don't forget to check out the post and pics below!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Finally :)

Alexa is down for a nap right now, so if I don't hurry this post won't make it either! We have been so busy lately. Last week was Alexa's first week at her new school, and we are both loving it. She is doing really well in her class...and she is working on potty training! That's right, she isn't even 2 and she uses the potty all by herself! I am definitely loving it. I mean diapers are expensive! LOL!

There are so many cute pictures that I need to post, I don't even know if I will be able to get them all on here, but I'll try.

Last weekend we went to a wedding for a dear friend of mine, and we had such a good time. The wedding was beautiful, and the reception was so much fun. Kristin's daughter Ansley was there, and she is 16 months old, and Laura's daughter Kate was there and she is also 16 months old. The three of them had so much fun together...they danced and ran around chasing a little boy at the reception. It was so cute!

I can't even remember everything else we have done over the last two weeks, but I'm sure there is no slowing down anytime soon! We are going to the beach in 3 weeks, and I am ready! I can't wait to see how A & W react to the sand and waves this year!

We really don't have too many plans for tomorrow, other than some chores around the house because we are having people over Sunday afternoon. Sunday night at Landrum First we are having Laura Story in concert. She is the worship leader at Perimeter Church in Atlanta, and she is from Spartanburg. She is a wonderful singer and song writer, and currently has a CD out Great God Who Saves. It is phenomenal, if you haven't heard it you should listen to it...we can't stop! I am so excited to hear her live on Sunday, she has an incredible testimony that God is using to change lives!

The concert starts at 6:30 Sunday night, everyone is invited to attend! I can promise you will be blessed!

Here are some of the pictures from Julie's wedding!


Monday, August 4, 2008

Update

Ok, I know I haven't updated lately...at least not with picture! I have so many awesome pics now...and it's going to take a little while to get them posted. Alexa is supposed to go see her daddy tomorrow night, so I should be able to spend some time working on a post then. Obviously she is more important than blogging and I'm not going to take time away from her for that! Hope everyone is having a good week. We have been really busy, and loving every minute of it!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

And the WINNER is...

CINDI! Congratulations Cindi, I'll send you something tomorrow and we can get started on your journal. Thanks so much to everyone who entered, and if you didn't win, don't worry because I am offering a special to everyone. From now until August 15th receive 10% off everything in my Etsy store, and if you spend $30 or more receive 20% off your purchase (not including shipping), use code MoonBean in the comment section of your purchase and I will send you a new invoice for the correct amount. Hope to see all of you back soon!

I've got a new item coming soon to my Etsy shop!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

YEAH!!!

Guess what, remember the giveaway I told you to enter on Inka's blog...well, I'm one of the winners! Go here to see all of the great stuff I won!!! I'm so excited :)

Thanks Inka for the great giveaway. You're awesome!

Monday, July 28, 2008

GIVEAWAY!!!


It's finally here! The quarterly Bloggy Carnival. I am giving away a custom made journal similar to the one pictured above that I made recently. Whoever wins can customize their journal and keep it for themselves, or have it done for someone else. My giveaway begins today at 9am Eastern and ends Saturday August 2nd at 10pm Eastern. International entries are welcome.

So, here are the rules for entering the giveaway...you must leave a comment to this post, and tell me what your favorite item from my Etsy shop is. I am going to try and update it this week...and I want some feedback from all of you! If you don't like anything I have then tell me what you would be interested in seeing! Please be sure to leave your name and contact information. If you would like to receive 5 extra entries then do a post on your blog linking to my giveaway...be sure to let me know you have done this.
*For an additional entry head to my sister's Etsy and leave me a comment telling me your favorite thing she offers. She is also hosting 2 giveaways on her blog, so check those out as well! Good luck to all!

I will draw the winner on Sunday August 3rd at 4pm Eastern. Thanks so much for entering!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Bloggy Carnival Coming Soon!!

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button
It's almost that time again. Bloggy Carnival is starting up Monday, July 28th. I think I have decided what I'm giving away...but we will get into that starting Monday! Head on over to hear about the rules...and think up your own giveaway!

Join the Fun!

Inka is celebrating her blogiversary and she is hosting a super fun giveaway on her blog. You should hop on over there for your chance to win some cute stuff! Check out her Etsy shop while you're there...I bought the cutest little owl earrings from her! Good luck to all.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Super Silly!

Alexa is so silly lately! She will fall down and hit her head on something...and after she gets up she will do it over and over again and just laugh. It's pretty funny to watch. Here is one case tonight...she was playing with her car, and "wrecked" it. We all fake reacted and said oh goodness, are you ok? LOL! :) So, she started doing it over, and over...lucky for me I got it on tape! Tell me she isn't the silliest little girl. Gotta love it!

My Sweet Sister!

This past Sunday at church Jodi gave me the cutest owl slide. For whatever reason I really like owls lately, and I even bought a little jacket with an owl on it from Target. She found the greatest little shop to buy slides from, and this one is my favorite! It was a total surprise and I was so excited to get to wear it today. Go here and check out the different stuff Rachel has for sale. This is the one I am wearing...isn't it super cute?? She has so many to choose from, you are sure to find several you like!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Quilt Contest



Jodi wasn't kidding...this quilt is beautiful! Head on over to Old Red Barn Co for a chance to win, or click on the link in the sidebar. Best of luck to all, I know the lucky winner will be super excited to win the quilt, it's amazing!

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Gauntlet '08

What an amazing week! We left last Sunday night about 11:30 from NewSpring in Anderson, and arrived in Panama City about 8am eastern time. After stopping for breakfast, we hit the beach! The students played hard, and worshipped even harder. It was so awesome to watch them praising God! We had 4 days of the Gauntlet games, and in the end, the Red team pulled out the win. Both teams had a great time.

We had 50 students accept Jesus as their Savior, and Thursday morning we baptized 105 students and a few leaders on the beach. It was an amazing experience to say the least...there were people out on their balconies watching and worshipping along with us. After we finished the baptism, close to 400 students, and leaders stood on the beach and sang praises to God while the music resounded off the buildings. I am so thankful that I got to be a part of it!

I didn't take very many pictures because we were out on the beach most of the time, and I didn't want anything to happen to my camera...you know I haven't had the best camera luck lately! LOL!! All in all it was a great week, and everything was worth it to know that God's kingdom was increased. The high schoolers got to Panama City today, and I can't wait to hear the reports of what God is going to do this week! Please pray for all of the students and leaders who are down there this week. Satan certainly tried to attack last week, and I'm sure this week will be no different.

I really can't say enough about NewSpring and how impressed I am with the importance they put on children and student ministries! The last two Sundays at NewSpring Greenville, we have seen just how amazing God is. Opening Sunday we had over 1700 in attendance, and last Sunday we had over 1400. I can't wait to see what God has in store for us in the future, and when Florence opens this fall!

My girls...Jordan, Roni, Nellie, Brooklyn, Stacey, and Lindsay

I finally got them to smile!

Kylie and me

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Morning with Mama!

This morning when Alexa and I got up, Mimi and Pop were gone. We came into the kitchen and there was a note saying they would be back around lunch time. So, after we ate breakfast I decided that we should do something fun before I leave on my trip. I started thinking about what we could do and I decided it would be fun to do something so Alexa could help. She has had a great time helping me lately, and it's so cute! She will see me doing something and say "Lexa help"...just too sweet! I pulled out the cookbook, and found a quick, easy recipe for cookies that I knew Alexa could help with.

Watching the butter and cream cheese, creaming together

What a sweet girl!

Pouring the cake mix in

Now for the BEST part :)

Doesn't it look good?

Watching them cook

Tasting the finished product after lunch!

My sweet girl and mama

Friday, July 11, 2008

God is SOOOO Good!

I can't say enough about how great God has been to me! At this point I really can't go into detail either, but suffice it to say I have been truly blessed today. So, many things are happening and working out in my favor, and I know it's not because of anything I have done. I just want to praise God for everything He is doing in my life right now. I am blessed beyond measure.

On a kind of different note...this weekend is going to be AWESOME! Sunday morning we launch NewSpring GREENVILLE!!!!!!! I am super excited about this, it's gonna be amazing to see God do a great work through this campus. Then, on Sunday night at 11:30 we will be pulling out from the Anderson Campus and headed for Panama City and THE GAUNTLET! It's going to be incredible to see what God has in store for all of us this coming week. We are taking around 300 middle schoolers for a week of discipleship, fellowship, and fun. It should be a great time, and I can't wait to see what God is going to do this week and next!

Well, that's it...I'm headed to bed. I probably won't post again before I leave...and I know I won't post while I'm gone, so I hope you all have a great week, and I should have some great pics when I get home.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

All Good things must come to an End...

Ladies and gentlemen, it is with great sadness that I make this announcement. After much consideration and deliberation I have decided to change my sweet baby's daycare. As most of you know there is a great CDP where I work, and it comes highly recommended. I looked into it when I started in the business office, but because I was a contract employee it made it a little bit different. When I moved over to PBS I was no longer contract, so I put her on the waiting list. I found out a few months ago that they would have a place for her in August. This is truly bittersweet for all parties involved, except for the new daycare. I am sad because the ladies where she is now absolutely adore her, and she loves them as well. I know they are going to miss her, and she will miss them and the friends she has made there. However, there is no doubt in my mind that the teachers at the CDP will love her just as much.

I can't believe that she has been at her current daycare since she was 6 weeks old...that has led to some strong bonds. They know her so well, and they love her!

Today it all became much more real. I emailed the director of the toddler program yesterday to find out her start date, and she called me today to let me know she can start much sooner than expected. I was suddenly in a panic...how could I tear my sweet baby away from the women who have cared for her basically from birth and love her so much. After lots of consideration and talking it over with those around me. I have decided it is the best decision.

She will now be literally down the hall from my office, and I will be able to go see her during the day. It will also mean I am closer should anything go wrong and I need to get her. We will save lots of time and gas because her current daycare is about 15 minutes out of our way on each trip. Clearly that is a big plus. I am excited for her to make new friends, and for her to take advantage of some of the extras the CDP offers.

All in all I think it's going to be a great move, it will just take some time to get used to. Everything changes...nothing stays the same!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Alexa's new FAVE thing!

Alexa is funny, silly, and absolutely adorable! She has started something new, and she thinks it's the funniest thing! Remember this post a few weeks back...well this is similar. Unlike W, Alexa isn't interested in sitting in her bumbo in the chair, she is interested in having her bear sit in the chair.
Look at that sweet face...she told her bear to "sit down"



She has also started trying to put her bears and her baby on her car...and she tells them to "stay baby" She usually ends up behind them b/c they won't stay!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Weekend!!

I don't know about the rest of you, but I LOVE three day weekends! There is nothing better than that...well, maybe a 4 day weekend, or working 4 tens every week. I worked over every day last week so I wouldn't have to use my PTO for Friday...so needless to say when Thursday afternoon rolled around I was ecstatic! Friday we started the day off down at the new house...Alexa and I mostly watched, while Mimi and Pop did all the work. We picked up a quick lunch at subway, and then got ready for our 4th get together.

We had the whole family over...minus Grandpa and Grace. They are in Florida for a few weeks and we sure do miss them! We had a great time in the pool while Pop was using his new grill, and then A&W played in the sand at their new table for a while. When the food was ready we all headed inside and had a great time visiting with everyone! As usual Alexa was a complete mess...she eats a lot! :)

Yesterday we worked a little more down at the house...Alexa and I mostly watched, but we did help a little, and she got on the bobcat with Pop while he did part of his work. She LOVES the bobcat...and any other piece of equipment she comes near! After that we headed to Spartanburg for a little shopping. I needed/need some different stuff to take on my trip next week...and I am running out of time. My main goal was shorts to wear on the beach in Panama City, and suitable bathing suits. I did buy two pairs of shorts, and one bathing suit, but I need a couple more so I'll have to keep looking this week.

I don't think I have mentioned on here that I'm going with the student ministry at NewSpring for their trip they call The Gauntlet. We are taking over 300 middle schoolers on the week I'm going, and it's going to be a BLAST! I can't wait to see what God is going to do in the lives of these students and everyone else involved. I am so blessed to be a part of this ministry. Also exciting upcoming event is the Greenville launch next week!!! YAHOO!!!! I am so excited to be a part of this as well. It is going to be AWESOME! Anyone is invited...our service times are 9:15 and 11:15 in Greenville, and our campus is off of 385 on Roper Mountain Road. Perry is starting a new series next week called "You asked for it"...it's where members wrote in questions and then we voted on which ones we wanted him to speak on. It's going to be awesome!

After shopping we came home and I made dinner. After dinner we headed out to the pool, but we only stayed for a minute because it started to thunder. I think Alexa was pretty disappointed, but we had fun inside nevertheless. Once inside it started to rain, and praise God for the rain, we desperately need it! We have had several showers yesterday and today, and we are so thankful for them. Today Alexa and I made our last trip to Anderson for Sunday worship, and I got to do check-in for the second service. I absolutely love volunteering at NewSpring, it is so fulfilling to know you are working where God wants you to be! For the rest of the day we have basically relaxed.

Here are a few pictures from this weekend.
Takin' a ride on her car!

Kickin' up their feet with some juice

Yummy watermelon!

Playin' in their new sand table


Alexa w/ her new swimmies on...LOL! She wanted to wear them